After laying low over the Christmas period, my movie going year has kicked into full swing over the past week – I’ve seen 7 films in the past 5 days and there’s more to see this weekend. I’ve just gotten back from a screening (Gran Torino) and there’s not much time so let’s get right to it…
The Golden Globes were held earlier today and it was very significant in terms of the Oscars race. The Globes do seem to impact Academy voters. They are the 2nd most important lead up award (behind the Screen Actors Guild Awards) in the lead up to next month’s Oscars.
As I do each year, I placed a few wagers with a sports betting company in the hope of an upset. I backed both Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) and Kate Winslet (The Reader) and luckily went 2 for 2. My windfall was $265 and that’ll do just nicely. I plan to use those winnings to place a few more bets on the upcoming Oscars. My career award show gambling profit since 1996 now stands at $4,545 but hey, who’s counting
On to the awards themselves and I think I’ll do this best by splitting them into the relevant categories…
The favourite, Slumdog Millionaire, won best picture, best director and best screenplay at the Globes. It is now the very clear favourite going into the Oscars and I can’t see it getting beat.
Mickey Rourke won best actor in a drama for The Wrestler after beating favourite Sean Penn (Milk). I tipped this and I think Rourke’s great speech will see his momentum build in the next month. Hollywood loves a Cinderella story and Mickey Rourke (after all that he’s been through in life) would be just that if he claimed the coveted gold statue. Penn is the only man who can beat him and I wouldn’t rule him out just yet. The Guild winner will probably tell us more. For the record, Colin Farrell won best actor in a comedy for In Bruges and that’s great to see (I thought it was Farrell’s best ever roles) but he’s no chance at an Oscar nom.
The best actress race at the Oscars has now become a lottery. The two favourites leading into the Globes were Anne Hathaway (Rachel’s Getting Married) and Meryl Streep (Doubt). Both lost however in the night’s biggest upset – to Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road. The reason it was so shocking is that Winslet had won earlier in the night for The Reader (see below). You’d usually expect the awards to be shared around. Also mudding the waters was the win by the amazing Sally Hawkins (my personal choice) in the best actress comedy category for Happy-Go-Lucky. She’s an outsider for the Oscars but should score a nomination. It’s a race in 4 and anyone could win it. At this point, I can’t pick it.
Best Supporting Actor
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight) won the Globe and just about everything else to date. He’ll start as a $1.01 favourite for the Oscars and it’s pointless to speculate about any of the other hopefuls as they have zero chance.
Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) was the early frontrunner but Kate Winslet has stolen the lead with her Globe win for The Reader. It’s great to see because Winslet has been well overdue. She had been nominated for 5 Golden Globes previously and was yet to win. Now, can she break her run of 0 for 5 at the Oscars? I hope so. She’s no certainty however because her win in the best actress category for Revolutionary Road might actually hurt her. If members split their votes (i.e. only voting for her in one category so as to spread their love around), then she might end up losing both.
The Globes ceremony itself was rather uneventful. Sacha Baron Cohen stole the limelight with his distasteful, politically incorrect humour. Yes, he was booed by some but I was happy just to see someone mixing it up. I tire easily of the standard thank yous and back slapping. Ricky Gervais was also good when he presented.
The Oscars are unveiled next Thursday (Jan 22) at 11:38pm. Next week’s Film Pie newsletter will therefore be a few days late. I’ll release it to tie in with the nominations and will provide my insightful commentary. See you then.